Workers Online
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Workers Online
  Issue No 92 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 April 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Beyond the Accord
Simon Crean cut his teeth in the trade union movement, now he's gearing up to run the economy.
*  Politics: In Defence of Della’s List
The proposition that trade unions should ask members of the ALP for a commitment that they uphold Party policy should hardly be controversial.
*  Corporate: The Real Rorters
The unspoken sore of the WorkCover Scheme is non-compliance by employers. None more so that in the construction industry, as this CFMEU paper details.
*  Legal: In the Real World
Lawyer Ross Goodridge exposes the defficincies in the new medical assessment guidelines for workers compensation by looking at real case studies.
*  International: The Docklands and Global Labour
Ma Wei Pin and Jasper Goss recount how the struggle of a group of Indonesian hotel workers effected a lucrative Melbourne contract.
*  History: Sweatshops in America
Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, many generations of Americans have toiled in sweatshops.
*  Unions: Losers Never Start
At the end of her six week vigil, Grenadier delegate Michelle Booth gave her heartfelt thanks to the trade union movement.
*  Review: Working Classes: Global Realities
The Socialist Register 2001 looks at class realities and the lives of workers in the new century.
*  Satire: Democrats Change Leader
The Democrats have a new leader after belatedly discovering that Meg Lees had become the second Democrats leader in a row to defect to another party.

Arthur Rorris by a Half-Head

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People Power in the Compo Wars

Costa To Join Della’s List
Labor Council secretary Michael Costa last night added his name to Della’s List and vowed to continue his fight for fair workers compensation ahead of his move to the NSW Upper House in August.
[ Full Story » ]

Compo Campaign Gathers Steam
The rolling campaign of industrial action against the Della Bosca reforms is warming up, with commuters the short-term beneficiaries as bans are placed on government revenue collection.
[ Full Story » ]

Della’s List: Dissident MPs Targeted
The campaign against ALP members who refuse to pledge support for amendments to the Della Bosca workers compensation package will move to the suburbs this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Day of Mourning to be Compo Focus
The sixth International Day Of Mourning for lost, injured and fallen workers will be the focus of next weeks workers compensation action.
[ Full Story » ]

Small Steps in Negotiations – But Hard Yards Still to Come
An agreement on a framework to consult disputed changes to workers compensation is the only concrete progress from two and a half weeks of consultation so far.
[ Full Story » ]

Important First Step for E-Mail Privacy
The NSW Government has flagged it will move to place legal safeguards against employers spying on emails in the workplace, following intense lobbying from the trade union movement.
[ Full Story » ]

Outraged Cleaners Continue AXA Axings Protests
The image of AXA Australia as a worker friendly organisation, with close links to the leaderships of Australia’s union movement, is taking a battering as their unionised cleaning staff have now been locked out of AXA’s Melbourne head office for nearly three weeks.
[ Full Story » ]

Grenadier Picket Ends – But Legacy Lives On
The brave battle for full entitlements by the workers at Grenadier Coatings is over, with workers voting to end their picket outside the Matraville factory.
[ Full Story » ]

Entitlement Dramas in Health and Printing
Fears are growing that more workers could be facing lost entitlements, with a private hospital going into voluntary administration and a printing factory facing the wall.
[ Full Story » ]

Nurses Still Waiting on Olympics Bonus
Nurses who worked at Concord Hospital are still waiting on the Olympic pay bonus more than six months after the flame went out.
[ Full Story » ]

IRC Delays Hit Eight Month Barrier
Unions have called for an increase in the number of judges and commissioners appointed to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission in the face of lengthy delays in having matters listed.
[ Full Story » ]

Claims of Dirty Tricks Conspiracy at Mobil
Questions have emerged about the Howard Government's possible involvement in another dirty-tricks conspiracy to cut people's wages – centring on plans to deunionise a group of Victorian meatworkers.
[ Full Story » ]

Sydney Water Workers On Strike
Sixty members of the Australian Services Union NSW and ACT Services Branch, working from Campbelltown and Liverpool Depots, voted to stay out on strike until next Tuesday.
[ Full Story » ]

MUA Rides Anti-pollution Wave
MUA surfers and seafarers traveled to Bell's Beach over Easter to alert surfers and surf lovers attending the Easter Rip Curl Pro and Sun Smart Classic surfing contest of the threat to their coast.
[ Full Story » ]

Governments Urged On Child Slavery
Following the events in Benin, where a ship allegedly carrying 250 child slaves docked safely in Cotonou, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions has urged its affiliates in West Africa to step up the pressure on their governments to end child slavery.
[ Full Story » ]

Time To Act on Pay Discrimination
All Australian Governments must act to stop pay discrimination against women after tax office data today revealed that men on average earn 46 per cent more than women, the ACTU said.
[ Full Story » ]

Construction Union Supports Folk Festival
The CFMEU is renowned for being there in militant force when it counts, whether on the job or not, so it comes as no surprise to know that the ACT Branch, nine years running have been a major sponsor to the world renowned Folk Festival held in Canberra annually.
[ Full Story » ]

Activists Notebook
If you are not busy saving the workers compensation scheme, check out the Eveleigh Community Weekend.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Workers Comp: The People Speak

  • Dellas List: Rhiannon-V-McDonald

  • Crosby Responds to Douls

  • English Teacher Ripped Off

  • Protocol of Cabinet Solidarity??

  • Tom Collins Goes Off

  • Vote One: Tony Abbott

  • Editorial

    In Times of Crisis

    It's often been said that the union movement is at its best in times of crisis. The current workers compensation dispute is proof of this maxim: the movement's response has been nothing short of exhilarating.

    A Labor Government has introduced wholesale changes to workers comp into the State Parliament without prior consultation with a trade union movement that regards the protection of injured workers as central to its heart and soul.

    While the Labor Council has coordintated the growing campaign, it has been the action of individual trade unions and their members that is proving decisive.

    Every day, the Carr Government is confronted by another group of workers taking the only action they have at their disposal - industrial action.

    This week brewery workers, construction industry workers, workers on the ferries and fire fighters have taken decisive action. Next week rail workers, electricity workers, even theatrical workers will be stepping up to the plate.

    Talk about a 'trade union' response and it's easy to dismiss as a vested interest. But put all these workers together and you have something that pretty much resembles Labor's core constituency.

    The increasingly erratic response of the Premier to the campaign is testament to its effectiveness. When a majority of his backbench publicly endorsed amendments to the package the Premier vows to disendorse them.

    By the end of the week the Premier was talking about "workers comp rorts" - something that is not only insulting to injured workers, but is totally ignored by his own reform package, which does nothing on the black hole of employer premium evasion.

    The good news is that talks are now beginning in earnest between Minister Della Bosca and the union negotiating team to amend the current legislation - but the government is still posturing that there will be no substantive back-down.

    As the campaign gathers momentum, the Carr Government may be left with a stark choice - between the integrity of his WorkCover package and the goodwill of the Labor heartland.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Another Generation Lost? And The'yre Racing! The Union Shop: Reopen for Business The Bunny or the Swamp-Fox?



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